Our first question comes from an anonymous source. It asks: "how do you deal with getting a degree but staying at home to raise your children instead of using your degree?"
Good question and one that I don't have a simple answer for. You will often hear me muttering under my breath that I got a degree so I could stay home and wipe snotty noses, argh. Then there are the days when the kids are being super cranky and ornery and I think to myself, "I don't have to do this! I don't have to be here! I can put you in daycare and work outside of the home." Not to mention the temptation of money, especially when I think about it long enough. My husband and I could be making a combined salary of six digits! Think how fast we could pay off student loans, save up for future college funds, and the oh-so many more things you can do with money. Sigh.
So, how do I deal with it? I can separate it into three reasons for you.
First, I completed my degree for the sake of an education, not a career. Sure, I chose my degree with a career in mind, but in all honesty, I really just love learning. Ever read Harry Potter? You can compare me to Hermione. If I could, I would just be a professional student. There are so many things for me to learn and I want to learn them all. The hardest thing I've done was narrow my education down to one topic. I love going to class, feeling the textbook in hand, being challenged by assignments and exams. I just love it all.
Second, is the confidence that comes with a degree. I have that confidence that comes from completing something difficult. I have the confidence that comes with knowing I could get a job if needed. I can walk in to pretty much any job and not only expect, but demand a higher wage simply for completing a degree. When things started to get a little shaky at my husbands employment last year there was the confidence that I could go back to work and support the family until he found another job. That alone is worth all of my student loans.
Third, and most important in my mind, is the message I am sending to my children. Hopefully they will grow up knowing how important receiving their education is to their father and I, simply because we have received an education. I hope they will make it their goal. I am also sending them the message that they are way more important than a fancy resume with a nice salary. More specifically is the example I am setting for my daughter. I am showing her that an education is important and to receive it, even if you plan on staying home with your children some day.
An education is extremely important to me and something I plan to continue to pursue. It is the best thing I have ever done for myself and I am finding, the best thing I have done for my family.